My wife and I have had the opportunity to spend some time in India on a few different occasions. The scenes of poverty among the children is more than the heart can handle. Upon arriving in New Delhi, you will immediately notice how there is not much of a divi- sion between the places frequented by the wealthiest of the wealthy and the haunts of the poorest of the poor. In the States, we do a good job of keeping our poor people out of the eyesight of our most affluent citizens. The middle class acts as a nice buffer for the two extremes. That is not the case (or caste) in India. I had wondered how the average citizen could so leisurely deal with a great need that was always right in front of them. I thought they were probably calloused to it. They perhaps did not notice it simply because it was the world into which they were born. Then I was surprised to hear the answer of a Hindu man standing in a mall. He explained to me his belief in reincarnation and his belief that those who are suffering now due to poverty were people who had caused others to suffer in their past lives. Wow! That should do it. That Hindu doctrine would greatly enable you to leisurely walk into Starbucks while walking over the poor to get in the door.
So that forces me to ask: what is the Christian doctrine that allows us to go about our day as if everything is fine? What justifies our acting as though our abundance of the Gospel is given to us simply for the purpose of our enjoyment and not to be shared with those who have yet to hear? Someone looking into our lives from the outside would have to believe that we have some secret under- standing that allows us to live as if all is well.
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